It began as a novelty to encourage creativity during a spring interrupted by a pandemic. Created by RUG INSIDER Editor Michael Christie, the concept of #tableauxdepompoms is simple: recreate a commonplace scene from around the home or (home) office using color-matching poms—preferably with a timely, perhaps socio-economic message attached. That was the concept. For brilliant execution however, one need look no further than the “Bread and Roses” tableaux created by Catherine Bertulli in collaboration with photographer Dennis Geller.

Originally a political slogan used by the women’s suffrage movement, the phrase originates in the early twentieth century and is now most commonly associated with the like-named Lawrence, Massachusetts textile workers’ strike of 1912. Pairing bread and roses in an appeal for both fair wages and dignified conditions, the slogan found resonance by transcending what are often tedious struggles for marginal economic advancements, relating the struggles to a simple striving for dignity and respect—hardly an unreasonable position. Timeliness it seems, much like design, can be quite cyclical in nature.

Image by Dennis Geller for Catherine Bertulli

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